So you have an interview coming up and aren’t sure what to do. Perhaps you’re 18 and you’ve never interviewed before. Maybe you’re just graduating and have to prepare for your first “real” interview. Or, you might be 45 and looking for work for the first time in 20 years and don’t know what to do. We’ll, if you have an interview coming up, you should find something helpful here.
No matter where you are in life, preparing for an interview can be intimidating. But, it doesn’t have to be. Remember, you can only do your part. If your prospective employer doesn’t select you, don’t take it personally. Assuming you have some marketable skills, you will land something if you just keep trying.
Top 10 Ways To Prepare For an Interview
- Know your prospective employer. I was so proud of my daughter when she went out to apply for a job recently. She spent hours online researching the company and found a ton of practice questions on the internet from others who interviewed there.
- Know what they are looking for. It’s hard to sell yourself if you don’t know what they’re looking for. Are they facing any challenges? What are some of their goals that you can help them meet? It might be something as simple as sales, or customer service. Or perhaps it might be mending customer relationships or building teams.
- Know yourself. While you can’t anticipate every question, think about how you can help them. If you have an extensive resume, go back and read it several times.
- Practice answering questions with someone you trust. Have them pretend to interview you. Don’t have them grill you, just practice answering questions.
- Dress professionally. I don’t care if you’re applying at McDonalds, dress up to move up. If you are interviewing at the mall, or for an entry level job, dress nicely. No tennis shoes. No flats. You want them to remember you! Starbucks? Nice casual dress for women, slacks and nice shirt for men. Even if the manager isn’t there… dress up. The manager might be there and hire you on the spot. I’ve seen it happen. You only have one chance to make a first impression.
- Show up early. At least five minutes. As they taught me in the navy, on time is late.
- Ok, you would think this goes without saying, but… I’ve seen people come to interviews that forgot this one. Comb your hair, brush your teeth, use some deodorant. To be your best, you want to look your best.
- Take a portfolio and pen… or for the technologically advanced your IPad… but make sure you know how to use it.
- Prepare yourself mentally. This is the toughest one. But… you are worthy. You just have to believe it. You can’t sell someone on yourself, if you don’t believe in yourself first.
- Relax……. if this interview doesn’t go well, your next one will be better.
All the best!
All the time!